The Rollalite was the culmination of Dunhill’s experience and success with Petrol lighters. Its size, shape and weight are perfect. The flint apparatus was easy to operate and worked consistently. This petrol lighter is a fine example of the excellent workmanship and reliable functionality which made Dunhill famous. This model however, stands out for its classic, elegant appeal and ease of use. Early models were produced in a variety of finishes, like enameled and precious metals, and the Rollalite has some advantages over other typical vintage pocket (and table) lighters. Most Rollalite's were produced from brass and plated with silver, chrome, or gold, and were also available as plain models with engraved initials.
"This is the Dunhill masterpiece in lighters. It is the most perfect mechanism of its kind - a precision instrument of remarkable efficiency. Its outer jacket is 14 karat gold and it has lifetime beauty and utility. You'll always treasure it. Heavy Ribbed, man's size $160.00; lady's size $150.00."
(extract from a 1945 advertisement).
This lighter also features a barrel hinge tp provide enough strength to keep even the grubby and most abused lighter relatively straight. The spring influenced hinge snaps open or closed with purpose. Fill screws usually contain a hidden compartment on the inside to hold a spare flint.
There was the Standard Rollalite that stood a little over 2.5 inches and the Small Rollalite that was just a bit over two inches. There were also table models made with a base, and they produced Rollalites with watches. Highly sought after by collectors are the solid gold and sterling silver models.
"The Magnificent new Dunhill 'Rollalite' pocket lighter with the most perfect mechanism of its kind. Rhodium plated for lasting beauty - large fuel reservoir. Diagonal lined design. Estab. Retail $10.00."
(extract from a 1950 advertisement).
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